John Calipari is one win away from clinching a Southeastern Conference championship in his first season at Kentucky -- just what he was brought in to do.
That's why his answer was swift and decisive when Calipari was asked Friday what winning the school's 44th conference title would mean: "Nothing."
The No. 2 Wildcats (27-1, 12-1), college basketball's winningest program, would assure themselves of at least a share of the championship by beating Tennessee on Saturday. They would get the championship outright if Vanderbilt also loses at Arkansas.
"I've always taken the approach that it's about the seed in the NCAA tournament," Calipari said. "If you want me to be honest about how I think and what we're doing to prepare, that's what it is. The SEC tournament is about our seed in the NCAA tournament."
Calipari is an unethical twit. He's made Kentucky hateable again, which is a public service, in a way. That said, he just did a wonderful job of distilling why college basketball has killed itself: it has rendered a three-and-a-half month regular season completely meaningless by making everything about a three-week tournament in March. It has produced a legion of casual fans who tune into the sport in March so they can stumble their way through the banal exercise of picking a bracket, but it has killed any incentive for people without a rooting interest in one of the contenders from being anything other than extremely casual about the sport. So thanks, John. You make me feel better about no longer caring for a sport that excited me as a kid.